Hornaday dominant again for repeat win at Memphis.

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The Associated Press for Nascar.com

Ron Hornaday took home his second consecutive Elvis trophy with an overpowering victory Saturday in the MemphisTravel.com 200 at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Hornaday led 175 of 201 laps on the .75-mile track. The driver of the Kevin Harvick Inc. No. 33 Chevrolet had a commanding lead over Brian Scott’s No. 16 Toyota before a late-race caution forced a green-white-checkered finish. Hornaday pulled away on the final restart and won by .653 seconds over Scott. It was the second consecutive week Hornaday has led almost from start to finish. Hornaday led 180 of 200 laps at Milwaukee in the same truck.

“It’s a pretty dominant truck, for some reason,” said Hornaday, who started on the pole at Memphis with a qualifying lap of 117.7 mph. “I don’t know what we’re doing to it, but we’re going to go back and copy it somehow.”

Hornaday expanded his Camping World Truck Series points lead to 76 over Matt Crafton with his third victory of the season and 42nd of his career, tops in the history of the series.

“We’re clamping down,” Hornaday said. “We’re going out there and working extra hard, and we’re saving our parts. We’re just out there knowing what we have to do.”

Hornaday also won at Memphis in 1998, but the track didn’t begin giving the Elvis trophy until 2005. This was the last year for it to be presented.

“The last Elvis trophy at Memphis, that’s pretty cool,” Hornaday said. “It was pretty awesome to come here and win the last Elvis trophy. That means a lot.”

Hornaday led 108 of the initial 114 laps, and never was passed on the track. He made his final pit stop and restarted second behind Scott, who successfully used a different pit-stop strategy to take the lead.

Scott managed to hold off Hornaday for 18 green-flag laps. On Lap 135, Hornaday cleanly got inside Scott in Turn 1 and they raced almost side-by-side to Turn 3. Hornaday had the advantage and went to the inside of a lapped truck. Scott went to the outside and Hornaday emerged with a solid advantage.

“Lap-down trucks plagued us the whole last part of the race,” Scott said. “When we had the lead, I had no idea where they were going when I got to them. “I might have been able to stay in front of Hornaday a while longer, but I don’t know if we could have beat him. He was awfully good.”

The race stayed green for the next 61 laps and Hornaday steadily built up a sizeable lead.

“I wasn’t going to get beat by the one-armed bandit,” Hornaday said referring to Scott’s cast on the broken wrist. “He was pretty good.”

Scott continued his strong second full season in the Truck Series, moving up to sixth in the points. He finished third at Milwaukee last week and had his first victory at Dover.

“I got a good jump on the restart,” Scott said. “I got to his bumper and drove into the corner right there with him. Unfortunately, I drove a little harder, and didn’t stick quite as well [in the turn].”

David Starr was third, equaling his best finish of the season. Aric Almirola finished fourth and Crafton was fifth.

Ron Hornaday Menphis

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~ por Mikel en 28 junio 2009.

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